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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are using multiple swarms of drones to tackle natural disasters like forest fires. Forest fires are becoming increasingly catastrophic across the world, accelerated by climate change.

« A swarm of drones could be the solution, » says Suresh Sundaram, Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IISc. Although they have not yet been used in India, the  is not entirely new. But in a new study published in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, Sundaram’s team proposes taking the technology a step further: Coordinated multi-swarm drones swooping in to quell .

« By the time somebody identifies and reports a fire, it has already started spreading and cannot be put out with one drone, » says Sundaram. « You need to have a swarm of drones. A swarm that can communicate with each other. »

The solution was to design a special kind of algorithm that would allow the swarm to communicate with each other as well as make independent decisions. In a hypothetical scenario, when an alarm is raised about a potential fire, the swarms can be sent in, each drone armed with cameras, thermal and infrared sensors, and temperature detectors, to spot the fires.

Pour en savoir plus : Using drone swarms to fight forest fires